July 6th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain campaign calls Obama's words into question

Sen. John McCain's campaign says Barack Obama has not been consistent on Iraq.

Sen. John McCain's campaign says Barack Obama has not been consistent on Iraq.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign said Sunday that Barack Obama's remarks on Iraq "have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends."

"He has held almost every conceivable position in the course of his relatively brief career in the Senate," said Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser.

Obama maintains his stance has not changed and said Saturday that "every single word" he says is closely measured.

McCain's campaign suggested Obama's views could be becoming more in line with McCain's Iraq policy.

"The position of [McCain's] campaign is that words do matter, and Sen. Obama's words have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends. If he is now joining Sen. McCain's position and saying that the need to maintain peace and stability in Iraq is a prerequisite before responsible withdrawal, which is Sen. McCain's position, we welcome his conversion to that position," Scheunemann said Sunday in a conference call with reporters.

The war over words started Thursday when Obama told reporters questioning his stance on Iraq that he will "continue to refine" his policies as warranted.

Obama denied any suggestion that he was shying away from his proposed 16-month phased withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq, calling it "pure speculation" and adding that his "position has not changed."

National reporters and Republicans pounced on his comments. The Republican National Committee put out an e-mail statement saying that Obama was backing away from his position on withdrawal.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Trollmaster

    Shouldn't Republicans be happy if Obama moderated his position on Iraq? Instead they jump all over him. If Obama went to the bathroom and forgot to flush, we'd be hearing about it from the far right wing nutjobs on fox news. This is much like "bittergate" a made up issue blown out of proportion.

    There's a huge lesson for Obama to learn out of this. If he tries to moderate himself the far right is going to attack him. Obama will do far better to appeal to the middle by being himself, not by being a wimpy stand for nothing moderate. It didn't work for Gore, Kerry or Hillary. It won't work for him either.

    July 6, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. The Lady

    McCain has misspoke so much he should not even bring up the word words.

    July 6, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Ralph

    If Hillary had not have mad as many mistakes as she did then she would have won. Her biggest mistake was underestimating Obama. The same mistake McCain is making now.

    July 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. Mary wa

    Not even close McMoreWar. Not even.

    July 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. TWO SIDES!!!

    Vig ,,,,,,,,,,McCain has brought into his campaign a kick-butt operative. You are going to see a new and improved McCain campaign that will shake-down Obama at every turn. The Scumbags alone with Karl Rove will crumble!!!

    Vig......... write-in's for Hillary will dominate the ballots in November........you are an IDIOTS ......Just vote for McCain

    July 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. John

    As somebody else who served in VietNam I am sorry to say that it is easy to tell when McSame lies. His lips move and the same goes for his staff.

    July 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Sandra Lai Lee

    The Bush administration made a mistake to go into someone's house or country damages the bathroom and tell the client that we are not going to fix your toilet. Now we are pulling out the service and the whole bathroom is broken and cannot use it. Obama used to be work as organizer in chicago. He was helping this housing project to fix the asbetos in the building. He is redifine his mission about the war.
    I think he is a very good person and responsible for the safety of our troop. He is not flig=flat about the war withdraw.

    July 6, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |

    LOL now this sounds funny coming from McCain and camp. What a joke.

    July 6, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Ell - TX


    July 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Trollmaster

    McCain was wrong to support the war from the start. The reasons we went to war are proven bogus. McCain was on the wrong side.

    He was wrong to say he would occupy Iraq for 100 years.

    McCain said Iraqis would greet us as liberators.

    He was wrong to say American withdraw from Iraq wasn't important. He's been saying the surge is working and we're winning in Iraq yet he can't say when we can start withdrawing the 100000+ troops there.

    Even if Obama is going to be more careful about Iraq withdraw and not pull out as fast as he said he would. It's far better than McCain's stance on Iraq, where he's been wrong time and time again.

    McCain, you might want to stop bad mouthing Obama about every little thing, it will only backfire and you'll expose yourself as the petty, bitter, mean little person you are. America is sick of GOP failure. In fact, just give your concession speech right now, you don't have a chance.

    July 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. We will be sorry...

    After we will elect Obama we will get a president worse then Bush (I am not talking about his dislecsia). Those crazy fanatics and media trying to push Obama into our throats doing evil thing to this one time great country.

    July 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. John

    It doesn't matter if Obama has changed his position on Iraq. Situations change and a competent leader can adapt to those changes, rather than stick straight to a plan that is utterly off-course.

    July 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Ralph

    Hillary could not beat Obama even if Michigan and Flordia were fully counted.

    July 6, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Independent, Amy, Gary – It's over. Obama WILL be the nominee. Lets all get behind him and make sure that Republicans can't hurt this country even more. Don't let them do it. If you and the PUMAs do it, there are 18 million of us on the other side that will never forget either. Not to mention the HRC voters who have moved on and are following their candidate's wishes and supporting Obama and would be forced like the rest of the Country to suffer the consequence of your actions.

    July 6, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. rachel

    No way to deny it Obama has shifted his stance. Obama better debate John cause we have had enough speeches to last a life time.

    July 6, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. John G

    Obama is change you can count on! He changes one of his stances at least everyday.

    So maybe I should say you can count on Obama to change his mind about anything important.

    Frankly it lets his lack of experience show. He holds a popular stance, gets new information and alters it a little, gets more new information and alters it more gets new info.....

    July 6, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. lynda

    I would like to know why when anyone says anything about Obama they are called racist? I am sick of it! Get on with the debate and let's all listen to what they are saying. As far as Obama, he may be Harvard educated but he think there are 57 states in the United States. I was shocked when I heard him say this. Obama is like cotton candy. Looks good but when you take a bit, you find nothing there. Now, call me racist if you feel you have to. The word racist has been batter about so much, it is losing its meaning. I would save it for the real thing

    July 6, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Carol - Lansing, MI

    I've seen the new McCain commercial here in Michigan. I wonder, why is it that McCain can't come out with one commercial that is based solely on the issues and not just a typical swiftboat/rovian style smear campaign?

    And by the way the commercial has already been outed as incorrect and earned the McCain campaign not just an "untrue" rating at politicheck.org, but a "Pants on Fire" rating.

    July 6, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Will the Real McCain STAN UP!!!

    McCain came to Kerry's aid in March 2004 after Bush and his campaign tried to paint the Democrat as weak on defense. He rejected the suggestion in broadcast interviews and chided both parties for waging such a "bitter and partisan" campaign..................

    and NOW you and your Scumbags are going to use these tactics on Senator Obama you are a snake McWar

    July 6, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Franky


    Ohhh and tell her "Thank You" for voting for the war.......yep, we're better off than years past......Thank You Hillary!!

    July 6, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. cricket

    The Watcher .. You are 100% right.
    refine-To change or remove (The World Book Dictionary ). This what Barack Obama has been saying for 18 months. This is proof once again how out of touch McCain is.

    July 6, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. George

    those who vote for Mccain are idiiots. what do you expect from this very very old guy? People over 65 are not eligible for public service. Obama is leading in republican states and CNN is still saying it is a close race. this is something interesting.

    July 6, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. PEACE!!!!


    CNN…….A roundup of quotes from the Sunday political talk shows, as compiled by the CNN Wire: ……….."We're winning because John McCain understood Iraq better than anybody
    That is a BIG LIE HOW about the Military STAFF in IRAQ do they get any CREDIT…..THE Cost of THE WAR and the lives lost is nothing to brag about, IDIOTS!!!! UNJUST WAR!!!!!!!!.
    WHO CARES ABOUT A BUNCH of BIAS OLD GOATS( (MEDIA)and their opinions……… IT'S the ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!…….McWAR has a plan for staying in Iraq and Barack Obama has a plan for getting OUT OF IRAQ!!!1
    CNN PLZ POST 4TH try

    July 6, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Michiel W

    To all of those just now realizing who the real Barack Obama is (or isn't), I would remind you that he is the "presumptive" nominee. Nothing is final until the convention. If you really want to make a difference, and I am including all those PUMAs, write to your Democratic representatives and the DNC, and let them know how you feel about the "presumptive" nominee.
    For those who really don't care, keep on blogging.

    July 6, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. JIM

    For all u Obama haters, McCain's straight talk express is a bull and u all know it. He voted against the tax-cuts and now he is for them. He said Iraq was better then he said its not. Yes, Sen. Obama has done some flip-flopping but come on. Also, since people still want to talk about Hillary, she has supported NAFTA before she was against it. She said she was under sniper fire when a video said she wasn't. So all three candidates have done things that are distasteful in one way or another but no one in politics or left is perfect. Truth be told, I would like to see Colin Powell become President though he made a bad judgment call, he would be a great Commander in Chief. Everyone deserves a second chance.

    July 6, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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